As a veterinarian, I’m never surprised by the color of a dog’s poop. Even when it comes in shades as bright as the sun. Orange or yellow poop is often an indication of a serious issue that is going on with your dog and should not be overlooked. Let’s find out some possible causes for orange dog poop and what you should do about it.
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2 Tips from the Vet To Understand If Your Dog’s Orange Poop is a Cause for Concern
Here are two things that you should pay attention to:
- Besides the alarming orange color, when trying to figure out what is causing your dog’s orange poop, also look at the consistency and frequency that your dog is pooping. An orange poop of normal consistency will mean something very different from a soft or runny orange poop.
- You’ll also want to look at any other signs your dog may be showing. Are they eating normally? Do they have a fever, abdominal pain, or are they vomiting? Recognizing any of these other signs will also help you know what to do.
Let’s look now at the reasons that could have caused your dog’s poop to turn orange.
What Causes Orange Dog Poop?
Some possible causes of orange dog poop are:
- Orange pigments in something they ate (carrots, pumpkin, orange Crayola, etc)
- Intestinal inflammation, mainly the colon
- Gallbladder disease
- Liver diseases
- Red blood cell destruction
When is Orange Dog Poop Not a Concern?
If your dog’s orange poop is of normal consistency, doesn’t have an overly foul odor, and has a uniform coloring, it’s more than likely not a cause for concern. This is further backed up if the orange dog poop happens infrequently and your dog isn’t showing any other signs of being sick.
There’s only one harmless cause of orange dog poop: orange food! More specifically, orange pigments in food. Food containing a lot of carotenoids can lead to orange poop. Carotenoids are commonly found in orange or yellow foods including carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and some squash. Eating enough of these foods can turn a dog’s poop orange.
Other artificial pigments in your dog’s food can turn their poop orange as well. Think back to a color wheel and remember that red and yellow make orange, so if your dog’s food contains red or yellow pigment, orange poop may result.
Other orange items that dogs may eat can also color his poop. If you have an indiscriminate eater, orange colored objects like crayons may also be behind their orange poop.
Just take a note of what your dog is eating when the orange poop occurred and make sure to take note of any other signs. If the orange poop is normal consistency and your dog is otherwise fine, it’s most likely an issue with pigment. If the orange dog poop bothers you, gradually switch your dog to a food that doesn’t contain artificial pigment and lay off of the carotenoid-containing treats.
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When is Orange Dog Poop a Concern?
When your dog’s orange poop doesn’t have a normal consistency, it’s time to take a look into it. This is especially true if they pass more than one slimy, soft, or runny orange poop. See the example image below. If this is the case for your dog, you might always want to read our article on orange dog diarrhea.
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If your dog is also showing any signs of vomiting, stomach pain, not eating, a fever, yellowing of the skin or eyes known as jaundice, or weight loss, it’s time to contact your vet.
Top Reasons Causing Orange Dog Poop
Some of the possible causes of this type of orange dog poop are:
1. Intestinal inflammation: Many things can cause inflammation of the intestine, including stress, parasites, viral or bacterial infections, and food intolerances. The orange color is due to improper bile staining. In normal circumstances, bile is added in the small intestine. As the soon-to-be feces moves through to the colon, or large intestine, the bile is resorbed, staining the feces that normal brown.
In dogs with intestinal inflammation, especially in the colon, the feces moves through the colon so quickly that the bile isn’t resorbed properly, leaving its orangey-yellow mark on the poop. Along with orange dog poop, you may also see feces with a softer or pudding-like consistency, lots of mucous, a bit of blood, straining to defecate, vomiting, weight loss, stomach pain and gas, and a decrease in appetite.
Diagnosing the reason for the inflammation in the intestines will help to pinpoint a treatment. Try to manage your dog’s stress, change their food and treat any infections.
2. Gallbladder disease: The gallbladder is the storage site for bile. It normally contracts and releases bile into the small intestine where it travels with feces to further digest food products to the colon where it is absorbed, leaving that normal brown color to the bowel movement. Any blockage of the gall bladder may lead to orange poop due to lack of bile. Blockages of the gall bladder can be due to stones, inflammation, tumors, or pancreatitis.
Dogs with gallbladder issues will often also show up with abdominal pain, weight loss, jaundice, diarrhea, an increased thirst and sometimes a fever.
3. Liver disease: Still going with the bile theme, the liver is the producer of bile. Anything that affects liver function can cause orange dog poop due to a decrease in bile production. This in turn will prevent the feces from turning brown in the colon and instead it may remain orange. Liver issues that may cause orange dog poop include abscesses, tumors, infections, toxins, or liver shunts.
Liver disease may also cause vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, abdominal pain, weight loss, decreased appetite, increased thirst, and swelling of the abdomen.
4. Red blood cell destruction: Red blood cells contain hemoglobin which helps to carry oxygen. When red blood cells are broken down, they release that hemoglobin, which is a yellowish color. When a lot of red blood cells are destroyed, it can lead to an increase in hemoglobin being removed from the body, possibly turning a dog’s poop orange.
Increased destruction of red blood cells is most commonly an autoimmune issue where the dog’s body attacks and kills excessive numbers of them. It can also happen due to toxins or parasites. Dogs will have anemia and may be weak or lethargic and have pale gums.
Important: Keep in mind that pictures only don’t equal a diagnosis. Consult your veterinarian any time there is any changes in your dog’s poop, behavior, or if you’re at all concerned.
What Should You Do If Your Dog’s Poop is Orange?
Once you get over the shock of seeing your dog’s orange poop, it’s time to start thinking about what to do.
- If you know that your dog ate a lot of carrots, pumpkin or other orange food in the last couple of days, chances are this is the last orange dog poop that you’ll see. If you recently changed to a colored dog food, then orange dog poop may be the norm from now on unless you change his food. As long as his poop has a normal consistency and he isn’t showing any other signs, you should have nothing to worry about.
On the other hand, if orange dog poop pops up out of nowhere, and it’s runny, slimy, or smelly or your dog isn’t acting himself, it’s time to look more in depth.
- If this is the first time you have seen the orange poop, you may choose to monitor your dog for a day or two as long as he isn’t showing any severe signs. If he has had an episode or two of vomiting, you may want to withhold food for four to six hours and then start him on a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice. Offer small amounts of water.
- If this doesn’t help change the consistency of the orange dog poop or treat other signs, it’s time to see the vet. If your dog is showing any severe signs, such as stomach pain, fever, or can’t stop vomiting see your vet.
Your veterinarian will do some bloodwork, possibly imaging, fecal tests and other diagnostics to determine the cause of your dog’s orange poop. Treatment will then be based on the cause and may include fluids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, supplements, or even surgery to remove gall stones. Expect to pay anywhere from $300 for an infection to more than $2,500 for surgery.
When to See a Vet for Orange Dog Poop
The occasional orange dog poop with normal consistency is usually no big deal, especially if you know that your dog was indulging on orange foods. If that orange poop isn’t a normal consistency, or your dog is showing any other signs, a veterinary visit should be in order.
You may try some at-home treatments, such as a bland diet or withholding food if your dog is showing mild signs, such as occasional vomiting or a bit of lethargy. If they have additional signs of weight loss, abdominal pain, or a jaundice, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.
Most causes of abnormal orange dog poop aren’t treatable with at-home remedies alone, so some professional help is encouraged to ensure the best outcome. Issues, such as intestinal inflammation, gallbladder or liver disease won’t get better without treatment and can become very serious very quickly without proper care.
What Does Normal Dog Poop Look Like?
We are glad you asked 🙂
Just as a refresher, in case you were wondering, normal dog poop should be light to dark brown. It should have a Tootsie Roll form and be able to stand up on its own. A dog should have no trouble passing it. The color may vary depending on their diet and the amount and frequency may vary depending on how often you feed them.
- Your vet may ask for an annual fecal sample to screen for internal parasites and other issues.Monitoring your dog’s poop everyday is one of the best ways to catch any abnormalities early on.
- One abnormal bowel movement without any other signs is usually nothing to worry about. However, repeat abnormalities or other signs warrant looking into.
Read More About Dog Pooping Issues:
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Dr Chyrle Bonk, Veterinarian
Dr. Chyrle Bonk received her Master in Animal Science from the University of Idaho and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Oregon State University. She has over 10 years of experience in small animal veterinary practice, working for a veterinary clinic in Idaho.
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Disclaimer: This website's content is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action. Read More.
If your dog suddenly has orange dog poop, then it may be indicative of pancreatitis (or the inflammation of the pancreas). It can also mean the poop moved through the GI tract too quickly and didn't have time for bile to breakdown your dog's food. It is bile that gives the poop a healthy brown color.What causes orange poop? ›
Generally, not absorbing enough bile or not producing enough bile can cause orange stools. Medical conditions related to bile issues include short-term diarrhea, blocked bile ducts, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), short bowel syndrome (SBS), gallstones, inflammation, cysts, and tumors.Can parasites cause orange poop in dogs? ›
Some of the possible causes of this type of orange dog poop are: 1. Intestinal inflammation: Many things can cause inflammation of the intestine, including stress, parasites, viral or bacterial infections, and food intolerances. The orange color is due to improper bile staining.Is orange poop a problem? ›
While some unusual stool colors suggest a potential health problem, orange is usually a harmless and temporary color change. Typically, orange stool is caused by certain foods or food additives. Once they are digested, your stool should return to normal.Can Giardia cause orange poop in dogs? ›
The most common symptom of an active giardia infection is watery diarrhea. The diarrhea may be greenish or yellow in color, or it might be brown, but it is always going to be liquid. There may sometimes be blood present in a dog's stool as a result of giardia as well.Why is my dogs poop rust colored? ›
RED: Unless your dog has gotten into beets, red discoloration of their poop is likely indicative of blood. If it's bright red, normal looking blood, it's most likely that the bleeding is occurring in their large intestine (or also possibly from their anal glands).What foods cause orange poop? ›
Orange poop may occur due to a wide variety of reasons. It may occur due to eating orange foods (carrots, winter squash, etc.) or consuming foods and beverages containing artificial yellow or orange colored-dyes. Certain medicines (antacids and rifampin) may also cause orange-colored stools.Can parasites cause orange stool? ›
It can also be due to a parasitic infection called giardiasis. Orange stools may be due to medications or diet, but may also be caused by a lack of bile or the malabsorption of bile due to IBS.What are signs your dog has a parasite? ›
- Diarrhea, with or without blood or mucus.
- Distended abdomen (belly)
- Weight loss.
- Decreased activity.
- Dull coat.
Whipworms look like tiny pieces of thread that are enlarged on one end. Roundworms look like spaghetti and may be several inches long. Tapeworms aren't usually seen in dog poop, but their egg sacs, which look like grains of rice, can be found in dog poop or sticking to a dog's behind.
While you cannot see them with your naked eye, coccidia eggs are routinely detected by veterinary staff on microscopic fecal exams. They look like transparent eggs with very thin walls. Coccidia can be tricky to diagnose because a dog can be infected and not show any signs at all.What naturally kills Giardia in dogs? ›
Cloves work well against parasites like giardia. The oil in cloves is the key to their effectiveness. One study found that essential oil of cloves can inhibit the growth of parasites. It also stated the essential oil can kill almost 50% of parasites in a “time-dependent manner.”Can you smell Giardia in dogs? ›
Giardia in dogs is a disease that causes a lot of watery diarrhea. Beyond diarrhea, Giardia symptoms in dogs can include vomiting, excess foul-smelling gas, decreased appetite, decreased energy, and frequent urges to poop.What does parvovirus poop look like? ›
Your puppy will vomit and have diarrhea if canine parvovirus is present in their system. Vomit may be clear or a yellow or brown color, and diarrhea will often contain blood and be a light yellow or mustard colored hue.Is rice good for dogs? ›
The answer is yes. Rice is an ingredient sometimes found in commercial dog foods. Many pet owners feed white rice to their sick dog. One of the reasons white rice is the chosen grain for a dog with an upset stomach is that it's easy to digest, quick to prepare, and low in fiber.What parvo smells like? ›
Some find that there is a distinct metallic smell to feces infected with parvovirus. If left untreated, parvo cases can escalate quickly and dehydrate the dog to the point of no return.What worms are orange? ›
Navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella) is an exotic pest that feeds on a variety of fruit and nuts, including citrus. While the insect is a serious pest of some nut crops like almonds and pistachios, it also grazes on citrus fruit, causing surface scarring that allows decay-causing organisms to enter the fruit.What does giardia poop look like? ›
Watery, sometimes foul-smelling diarrhea that may alternate with soft, greasy stools.What color are intestinal parasites? ›
They are segmented and white or pale yellow in colour. They inhabit the human small intestine and their eggs are passed out with stool.How do dogs act if they have worms? ›
Coughing, diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy are the general signs the dog has worms. Other symptoms depend on the type of worm. For example, if your dog has a tapeworm, clear identifiers can be rapid weight loss or what appears to be grains of rice in their stool.
Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen.How do vets check for parasites in dogs? ›
Your veterinarian will take a stool sample to test for the presence of microscopic eggs laid by adult worms. The veterinarian will then mix the sample with a solution that makes the eggs more visible underneath the microscope. In some cases, a routine stool sample test may be insufficient to diagnose a parasite.What do giardia parasites look like in dogs? ›
Giardia infection in dogs may lead to weight loss, chronic intermittent diarrhea, and fatty stool. The stool may range from soft to watery, often has a greenish tinge to it, and occasionally contains blood. Infected dogs tend to have excess mucus in the feces. Vomiting may occur in some cases.What does hookworm poop look like in dogs? ›
Can you see hookworms in dog poop? Roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and hookworms can be seen in your dog's feces. Hookworms will look like a thin string in your dog's feces, but you may not be able to seem them even if your dog has hookworms.What color are dog parasites? ›
You may notice the adult roundworms in your dog's feces or vomit. They will appear white or light brown in color and may be several inches long.Should I be concerned if my dogs poop is orange? ›
Orange poop could mean problems in their liver, gall bladder or bile ducts. Sometimes, it turns that color because food's passing too quickly through your dog's. Still, you should have a vet check out your pet just in case. If your dog's poo is coming out yellow, it could be a sign of an upset stomach.How long does orange diarrhea last in dogs? ›
If a dog's diarrhea lasts more than 48 hours, no matter the color, it's typically cause for concern. Mild causes of diarrhea, such as eating something they shouldn't have, usually clear up within that 48 hours, so by that three day mark, you're probably looking at something a little more serious.Why does chicken and rice cause orange poop in dogs? ›
The orange color that appears in his stools is formed when the yellow of the bile is mixed with the usual brown. If this is your case, make us your query as soon as possible because your furry needs a thorough examination of his general health status. It happens to dogs as it does to humans.What does orange dog sick mean? ›
Orange. If your dog's vomit is an orange color, it could be for a few reasons. While bile is usually a yellow liquid, it can be tinted orange, so orange vomit may be a sign that your dog's stomach was empty when they were vomiting. Vomit can also take on the color of food or food coloring that was eaten.What are signs of pancreatitis in dogs? ›
What are the clinical signs of pancreatitis? The most common clinical signs include nausea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. During an attack, dogs may take a 'praying position', with their rear end up in the air while their front legs and head are lowered onto the floor.
Your puppy will vomit and have diarrhea if canine parvovirus is present in their system. Vomit may be clear or a yellow or brown color, and diarrhea will often contain blood and be a light yellow or mustard colored hue.How long does orange diarrhea last? ›
If orange poop is present continuously for two weeks, then you should visit your doctor. Moreover, if you are getting an orange-colored stool along with diarrhea for longer than two to three days, see your doctor. Prolonged loose stool increases your risk of dehydration and may indicate a more serious medical problem.Is Scrambled Egg good for dogs with diarrhea? ›
Scrambled eggs are a good option for dogs with diarrhea because they are easy to digest and packed full of protein. Dogs who have been vomiting or eating stool may not be able to handle the high-fat content but scrambled egg is one of the best options out there.Why rice is not good for dogs? ›
Dogs do no not digest rice too well. It takes a lot of work for the body to break down. Rice is a carbohydrate and we know dogs have little nutritional requirement for carbohydrates in their diet. White rice has a high glycemic index, meaning it will cause a rapid spike in blood glucose levels.Does pumpkin puree make dog poop orange? ›
Beta carotene, the pigment that gives pumpkin its orange color, is a good source of Vitamin A. Incidentally, it may also give your dog's poop an orangish hue. Vitamin C is very important for your dog's immune system and acts as an antioxidant.What does orange chicken poop mean? ›
Red or orange chicken poop is one of the scariest types of chicken poop to see in your coop. It could be lead poisoning or coccidiosis, but usually, it's harmless. It's caused by the sloughing off of the intestinal lining, which sounds scary but is totally benign. It happens from time to time.What is the first signs of parvo in a dog? ›
Some of the signs of parvovirus include lethargy; loss of appetite; abdominal pain and bloating; fever or low body temperature (hypothermia); vomiting; and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration, and damage to the intestines and immune system can cause septic shock.What does orange dog mean? ›
Definition of orange dog
: the larva of the orange-tree butterfly (Papilio cresphontes)
- Vomiting, especially when repetitive.
- Loss of appetite.
- Dehydration due to inability to hold any water down.
- Abdominal pain.
- Hunching or whining.